Gila Guttmann

Israeli Army Veteran, Computer Analyst & Noted Bridge Player

At the age of 18, Gila Guttman was drafted into the Israeli army, where she was selected to study technology. Just three years later, she and her new husband moved to the United States so that he could study orthopedics. There, she found a calling in selling computers and instructing others on use of GE technology, a skill that was rare for women at the time.

Where were you born?

I was born in Palestine.

Which is now?

Israel.

Your education is varied, with a stint in the Israeli army. How did those experiences prepare you for your success in bridge?

In Israel, you go to elementary school until the eighth grade. Then you are tested. If your test scores indicate you are not university bound, you are sent to a trade school. There are private high schools, but I attended a government supported high school, which was very competitive. If you get into the government supported high school, you are required to major in defined subjects. My major was science because I intended to go to medical school. There were 30 boys and five girls in my class.

When I finished high school, I was drafted into the army where I was tested in math and English. I was selected for technology, or at the time, computers. While I was in the army, I was married and postponed my studies.

You were drafted into the Israeli army?

Everybody had to go to the army unless girls would say they were religious. Then they would be excused from serving. All my friends went to the army.

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